TOKYO, July Mizuho Financial Group on
Monday reported a 91 percent surge in its financial first
quarter profit, driven by bond trading gains as Japanese and
U.S. government debt's safe-haven appeal increased as the global
economic outlook darkened.
Mizuho, Japan's second-largest lender by assets, said
April-June net profit was 183.9 billion yen ($2.4 billion), up
from 96.4 billion yen a year earlier.
The bank kept its full-year net profit forecast at 500
billion yen, up 3.1 percent from a year earlier and above an
average estimate of 450.5 billion yen in a poll of 18 analysts
by Thomson Reuters.
Japanese government bond and U.S. Treasury prices surged in
the quarter as persistent worries about Europe's debt crisis and
increasing signs of sluggish global growth helped to underpin
demand for sovereign debt still considered a safe haven.
Mizuho and rival Japanese banks have relied on bond trading
profits in recent years as they continue to suffer sluggish loan
demand at home.
Shares of Mizuho rose 26 percent so far this year,
outperforming a 2.7 percent gain in benchmark Nikkei average
($1 = 78.1900 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Alex Richardson)